Calderdale will take centre stage next Spring as it was announced it will see the start of the final stage of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire.
The newly redeveloped Piece Hall, Halifax, played host to cycling legends at a press conference detailing next year’s route.
It was revealed that Halifax would begin stage four of the event on Sunday, May 6, 2018. The route will set off from the Piece Hall and travel out of the town to the Calder Valley, taking in Mytholmroyd, Luddenden Foot and Hebden Bridge.
Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift, said:“It’s great to see so many people in Square Chapel and the Piece Hall. It’s been a fantastic launch and now we look forward to the Tour starting here in May.
“It puts us on the map. We get great attention and coverage for all of the heritage and the landscape we’ve got and it tells people what a great place Calderdale is for cycling, not just for competitive racing but at every level.
“I think from the Tour de France onwards, the fact we’ve had stages every year, it really has given the place a fantastic boost and of course it boosts the economy as well as so many people visit and support the local businesses.”
At the press conference the route for the women’s race was also unveiled, as well as the official charity for next year’s race - the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive, Sir Gary Verity, said: “It was a proud moment unveiling the full route. We’ve worked hard to design a dramatic and varied parcours which takes in some of our county’s most spectacular terrain. I’m sure the world’s best riders will relish the challenge it poses and we’ll be treated to a tremendous fourth edition.
“Last year’s race attracted 2.2 million spectators and generated £64 million for the local economy, and now that it has been extended from three to four days, the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire promises to be the biggest and best one yet.”
It will be the first time Halifax will be a host town for the event and the Piece Hall will take centre stage when riders begin the race on the final day.
The race will be returning to the upper Calder Valley for the first time since 2015 and riders will be met by the first of six categorised climbs in stage four, the Cote de Hebden Bridge.
The 7km climb at 4.6 per cent will lead riders out of Calderdale and onto the rest of the stage, taking in Oxenhope, Skipton, the Yorkshire Dales and Otley.
The stage, and the event, will end where the Tour de France Grand Depart began in 2014, on The Headrow in Leeds. For details and to see the full route in detail, visit www.letour.yorkshire.com.